White Duck Taco Shop

The open dining room at White Duck Taco Shop on James Island.

Don't let the tacos and multiple locations mislead you: "Our challenge (is) making someone understand what we are as a restaurant, and a culinary restaurant - everything will still be made every day," White Duck Taco Shop chef and co-owner Laura Reuss told Asheville's Mountain Xpress last year.

Reuss and her husband, Ben Mixson, in 2011 launched White Duck (the chatty Reuss was nicknamed "la pata blanca" by her staff) in Asheville's River Arts District. The restaurant immediately acquired a reputation for fresh, inventive food, and a massive group of fans who didn't mind waiting in line for tacos featuring jerk chicken, mole duck, beef bulgogi or banh mi tofu. In Charleston, they're priced at $3.50 apiece.

Although the couple hadn't initially planned to open locations outside of Asheville, a meeting between Mixson and former College of Charleston classmate Andrew Pannell led to a franchising plan. The Folly Road restaurant was designed to precisely mimic the Asheville model, with the addition of margaritas for the beach-bound crowd.

"We're a fast, good, affordable option for James Island," Pannell says.

White Duck Taco Shop is at 792 Folly Road. The restaurant's set back from the street, so it's easy to miss the building with the duck painted on it: Aim for the space between Baguette Magic and Mike's Bikes.

For more information, visit whiteducktacoshop.com.

Hanna Raskin